Your Ass Better Not Be Working Today

May 1st, 2006 → Leave a comment

How’s this for a bad activist? I didn’t know about today’s MayDay until my boyfriend was frantically stocking our apartment with groceries this past weekend saying, “Baby, you can’t buy anything Monday. You can’t eat out. I’ve bought groceries to last us through Monday. I’m not going to work.” Then he explained why MayDay is so important. We even watched a documentary last night about the struggles of undocumented laborers in Farmingville. In apartment education!

If May 1 is Workers Day then April 30 was “Buy two days worth of stuff day.”

Today’s an act of resistance we can all get with– don’t go to work! Go out to the streets. If my armchair activist partner can do it, so can you!

I had heard about this holiday last year. It has appeared in tiny gray font on my datebooks along with other widely unknown holidays. I think my friends were bitching about how everyone in the world EXCEPT here in the US people celebrate the worker. We have holidays for dead presidents, veterans, and Jesus– so why not the worker?

Anyway, don’t feel bad if you can’t come out to the rallies. I myself have to go to an audition before going down to the rally. (Hey, gotta get a couple commercials a year to pay the bills.)

Here is something my friend Robert Karimi‘s older cousin posted about taking care of yourself and celebrating MayDay in whatever way you do. It is always more important to take care of yourself first. Then the revolution.

The revolutionary act of eating right on the day without an immigrant.
by mero cocinero karimi

I have received phone calls, emails from hundreds of you asking me if you should leave work or school today for day without an immigrant on May 1.

I am shocked by how many of you still have not decided. This day is not only about marching or rallying. It is about solidarity together with all peoples for human rights, to say the act of crossing a border should not be a felony. Taco Bell asks us to do it everyday, but no one is arresting the head of PepsiCo.

Remember, this day is about wellness. About a community walking, connecting and eating together.

First, we are a working people, so no one is going to be angry if you have to work to take care of your family or you have to buy aspirina because some one is sick. That’s silly.

I remember when I was feeding tamales to janitors in San Francisco that were striking against their bosses, some strikers had to go home and take care of their children. Were they less in solidarity than the others who stayed? Did I feed them less tamales? No! My rule: everyone gets the same amount of tamales, no matter who they are.

Today, many of you will be marching, taking off from work or school, but don’t forget about your health during this time. Many people who want to change society forget to eat a well balanced meal. To this I say: “Chingado! How can we balance society, if we are not balanced ourselves?”

Therefore, before you go out to scream and yell or march or even if you go to work today, make sure to eat something nutritious. To be in solidarity with the day’s spirit, don’t eat out. Make yourself some oatmeal or eat some fruit. Or…soy chorizo tacos always satisfy the hungry masses before a march.

Then, make sure to drink some juice and water. Hydration is the power. The conservatives may use water to oppress the people, but if you are filled with water, you will be less easy to oppress.

And, sit and eat. Don’t rush. Take your time. If you choke on your food because you rush to eat, then fall to the ground, you cannot march or do anything, except lie on the ground.

If you are going to the various rallies today, make sure to take at least 2 bottles of water and some snacks, preferably nuts or fruit, nothing that will make you poofy. (Don’t eat candies, especially those from corporations that do not support their workers desire for human rights.) The people united will never be defeated…especially if they are not eating junk food, and properly hydrated.

I would always tell Cesar that a poofy marcher makes for one that always has to go to the bathroom for indigestion and cannot march all the way to Sacramento.

Sadly, many people do not eat at all during rallies, and when it’s time for the chanting, they are the softest chanters or they must stop because they lack energy, poder. And, what is a rally for change, for la fuerza de la community if the people lack power because their body lacks calories?

The conservatives like for us to eat 3 huge meals spread out so that we are easier to control and sell products to on primetime TV. Today, diga no!!! to huge meals. Eat small, constant, and healthy.

Finally, after your rally (or if you have to go to work, after work), meet some new friends, and invite them for dinner. This is what this day is about, connecting, discovering the connections within the community. If we just chant together, but do not eat together, how will we get to know one another and how can we truly be a community?

Bring your new friends home and make a simple dinner that will satisfy the hunger of the masses. Again, no fast food! I know, you have been rallying all day, and the last thing you want to do is cook. But many times waiting in line for a hamburgesa takes the same amount of time as to cook something simple. I have written down two recipes (one for my vegan comrades) that are quick and easy to make. I made them for anti-apartheid demonstrators in Chicago in 1984, and they still remind me today that simplicity can satisfy the hungry stomach to fuel the passionate heart.

So, remember, no matter how you choose to contribute today, that we must be balanced in our diet, energy, and hydration. The right wing does many things to destroy our indigestion: war in Iraq, pending war in Iran, and laws aimed to make us all sick to our stomachs. That’s why this day is momentous, and if we take care of ourselves today and everyday, we will be on the road to change this society by saying, “We are proud of who we are because we eat healthy, slow, and together.”

paz y hodahafiz.

Simple Tostadas
1 pkg. of crispy tostadas (pre-made)
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
can of tomato sauce or El Pato (for those that like it spicy)
2 cups of quesadilla cheese or monterey jack or whatever cheese you have in the house, grated
1 can of pinto beans or black beans

In a quart sauce pan, place beans and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Lower heat if boiling. Add, onions, garlic or pepper for taste.

In another sauce pan, warm tomato sauce.

When tomato sauce and beans are warm, retrieve one tostada.
Spread sauce on tostada evenly. Place beans in the center of the tostada, making sure not to overload the tostada. It is preferably to make a little pyramid.
Then, place chopped parsley and cheese on top of beans. Enjoy!

Vegan alternative
Take out cheese. Otherwise the recipe is the same. Enjoy! Viva las vegans!

If you want your own tostadas. Use a package of corn tortillas, and heat some vegetable oil, then place tortillas in the hot pan. Make sure to use tongs because they heat will be hot and

If you do not have these ingredients, make something else that is simple. And then send me the recipe at and I will post it on my new website for everyone to marvel at how solidarity can lead to ingenuity.

Mero Cocinero Karimi is a public access chef who hosts his own cooking show called Cooking Con Karimi. He is currently working on a new book of recipes, and travels the world cooking for those that are engaged in the struggle for justice for all oppressed peoples in the world, and… he believes that the revolution starts in the kitchen. To register for his monthly newslettter with recipes, tips, commentary, and events, and all comments or questions for mero cocinero, email

Category: Blog

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